Hilfenhaus in doubt for second Test

Swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus is in doubt for next week’s second Test against Pakistan in Leeds after injuring his shoulder in Australia’s 150-run first Test win at Lord’s on Friday.


After setting 440 to win, spinners Marcus North (6-55) and Steve Smith (3-51) bowled Australia to victory with Pakistan all out for 289 in their run chase on day four in London.

North’s figures were not only the best of his Test career but the finest by an Australian spinner at the home of cricket.

Simon Katich was named Australia’s man of the match for his 80 and 83 in testing conditions, while Salman Butt received the

Pakistan award for his 63 and 92.

Hilfenhaus injured his left shoulder in the field on Friday, his attempted dive to stop a ball going for four at fine leg going wrong.

He stayed on the ground for some time before pulling himself up and grimacing in pain and clutching his left shoulder.

The Tasmanian bowled one more over before going off and receiving treatment.

He returned to the field but did not bowl another over as Pakistan’s batsmen succumbed to spin.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Hilfenhaus could have bowled if needed but admitted he was not certain of the damage to his shoulder.

“He is a bit sore in his shoulder, they will probably have a look at it tomorrow once it has cooled down and we will know a bit more about it then,” he said.

“We don’t really know the extent of it today and we just hold our fingers crossed that it is not too bad.”

If Hilfenhaus is rubbed out of the Headingley contest, giant South Australian seamer Peter George is in line to make his debut on a pitch that has traditionally suited seamers.

Friday’s win was Australia’s record 13th straight victory over Pakistan, the longest Test streak against another nation.

It was also their seventh Test win on the trot and eighth from nine outings since last year’s Ashes series.

Ponting said North had deserved the spoils.

“His willingness to just throw the ball up and try to land it in the rough was a big reason why he got the wickets he got today,” said Ponting.

“It just goes to show his all-round talents, someone who can bat in the middle order and bowl spin at that sort of quality is a valuable cricketer.

“Great return for him today.”